News :: National

Eric Holder Criticizes Boy Scouts Over Anti-Gay Policy

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jun 11, 2014
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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder  (Source:AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called out officials from the Boy Scouts of America Tuesday over the organization’s anti-gay policy that bans out scoutmasters, NBC News reports.

Holder’s comments were made during a speech for gay rights group Lambda Legal. He said that the BSA’s policy "perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes."

Though Holder called the BSA "an iconic American institution," he said its policy is "a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding."

The BSA does not accept openly gay scoutmasters, but a policy change that went into effect earlier this year allows openly gay scouts.

Last month, BSA’s new president, Robert Gates, former secretary of defense who helped oversee the repeal of "DADT," said at the organization’s annual meeting that he is in favor of a policy change but now wasn’t the right time to do anything about it.

"I would have supported going further, as I did in opening the way for gays to serve in CIA and in the military," he said. But he added that reviewing the issue just a year after the BSA changed policy to allow gay children "would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a permanent split in this movement."

Gates said he wants to focus his attention on local recruitment and fundraising.

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